It’s one thing cooking any old meal. It’s quite another cooking a great Christmas dinner, especially when your oven’s relatively new. You know what it’s like. Over time you get used to your old cooker’s little foibles: the way it runs hot or cool, leaks heat or takes aeons to warm to temperature. If you’re the proud owner of a brand-spanking new Rayburn range, you might be feeling a bit uncertain about the whole Christmas thing. Here’s some useful tips to help you create a delicious, moist and memorable Xmas meal.
First, try the internet. There’s a host of excellent hints and tips about getting the best out of range cookers, from specialist range cooker blogs, supplier sites and recipe sites. Many are written by people who spend a lot of time on their range, with plenty of genuine, in-depth experience.
It’s easy to find specialist books about cooking with a range. Try the New Rayburn Cookbook by Richard Maggs and Dawn Roads. Maggs also wrote the Little Book of Rayburn Tips. Roads is a former in- house home economist for Rayburn themselves, and both are big fans of fresh, simple recipes and easy cooking. Perfect when you’re creating a seasonal meal for loads of people! With more than 100 recipes and stunning photos, it’s an asset to any kitchen. Alternatively, if you have an Aga you can always track down the wonderful Twelve Days of Christmas – Aga Recipes by Sarah Whitaker. She’s an Aga Demonstrator so she knows her stuff! Try the Classic Rayburn Book of Slow Cooking by Louise Walker, The Classic Rayburn Cookery Book, also by Louise Walker or the Country Range Cookbook by Carol Bowen. You can get most of these second hand via Amazon Marketplace, or buy new.
It’s also a good idea to pop into your local range cooker dealership, or give them a call to see if they can offer Christmas dinner-specific advice. You never know! The manufacturers themselves are also often a source of handy tips and hints for range cooking perfection. If they can’t help, they might know someone who can.
Last but never least, ask someone who already has a range for advice. Ranges are growing fast in popularity because they’re easy to use, rugged and long-lasting, beautiful to look at and have a load of ‘green’ features to help save energy. Ask around and you’re bound to find someone who’s been using a range for long enough to give you the low-down.
The Rayburn is a genuine little workhorse, a classic cast iron cooker that can create mouth-watering meals, heat your domestic water and keep your home cosy. Working the same way as their sister brand, the AGA, they bring indirect heat into play for superbly moist and tasty food. And the choice of fuels is fantastic, including oil, natural gas, propane gas, wood and solid fuel. It’s a classic design choice for good looking contemporary kitchens. And it’s creating a real design stir.
How come? It’s the colours. The latest palette is exciting interior designers and consumers alike, with fourteen key shades to choose from. And – if you really want to really push the design boat out – there’s even custom colours available too.
So what’s the latest in kitchen interior design trends? The range cooker itself is becoming a bigger player in the general scheme of things. Once a mere appliance, today the range plays a starring role, with the colour leading and informing consumer interiors choices.
As well as regulation black, dark clue, chocolate, cream and white there’s British Racing Green, an all time classic colour that goes beautifully with rich Victorian-style burgundies and plums, purples and deep cherry reds. As well as making a wonderfully crisp contrast with pure white walls. There’s golden yellow and heather, Wedgewood – a lovely sky blue – and claret, pewter and jade, aubergine and pistachio, delightfully French and the perfect centrepiece for a shabby chic kitchen where the whole family can relax in comfort and style.
The hottest trend is to treat range cookers as the driver of the room’s design. Instead of trying to merge it in to the background, today’s designers are grabbing the range by the horns using it to inspire the rest of the room. So a heather Rayburn might suit in a cream, lavender, heather and cerise room, the colour accentuated and picked up by chair covers and cushions, rugs and blinds, curtains and flooring. And a rich jade green cooker might sit in design splendour amid shining antique golds, pale leafy greens and rich, buttery creams to create a contemporary kitchen design with a real difference.
Black, white, pewter and cream ranges go with virtually everything, a good move if you’re passionate about interiors and change your kitchen’s look every year or two. Aubergine is ideal for strong, definite, masculine kitchens and looks fantastic teamed with ‘70s tangerine orange on the walls and black gloss paint on your woodwork. Wild? Probably. But memorable, stylish and unique too. As far as kitchen interiors are concerned, anything goes!